Sambar Recipe – It is a delicious traditional South Indian lentil and mix vegetable stew made using special spice powder. This sambar dal is a great side dish, easy to make and significantly served as a breakfast along with soft idli, vada, dosa. An ultimate vegetable sambar recipe to pair with rice, a heavenly combination, believe me!


What Is Sambar?

As mentioned above, sambhar is a tasty stew of lentils and mixed vegetables cooked using special sambar spice powder. It is staple to every South Indian home and made almost everyday either for breakfast or for lunch as well as dinner.

It is one of the most popular South Indian dish that is healthy and so nutritious. It’s ‘irresistible’ deliciousness is cherry on cake.

Seeing the ingredients, you might get daunted, but truly, it is extremely easy to put everything together. That beautiful, slightly tangy, aromatic, vegetables and lentil full tempered stew is to die for.

Coming to the details of the dish, even though you will find that sambaar is very well versed preparation from South Indian Cuisine, but, every state has it’s own touch, with slight variations and tastes different from each other.

Most of the traditional sambar recipes makes the use of Tuvar dal (toor dal – split region pea). Having said that, sometimes even masoor or split red lentils as well as moong dal or yellow lentils or a mix of any of these are also used.

Moreover, key to delicious sambhar is the use of really good, flavorful and aromatic sambar powder. Hence I always go for my homemade masala powder over the store bought ones.

Variety Of Sambar Recipes

In Tamil Nadu, the basic local vegetables that actually goes in are mostly drumsticks (Moringa), radish, brinjal and sometimes golden pumpkin. Preparation also usually makes the use of dry sambar powder to make this dish and it slightly towards the tangier hint. Use of sesame oil (gingerly oil) is common in Tamil Nadu.

Whereas Kerala style (Varutharacha) Sambar recipe makes the use of potato, carrots, okras, ash gourd along with rest of veggies mentioned above. Mostly, it is cooked in coconut oil.

In Karnataka style sambar, you will find mild sweetish hint, which is due to the addition of little jaggery. Udupi style sambar is significantly a Satvik version, hence uses no onion and garlic in it.

However, in most of the Udupi hotel or restaurants, they do add some shallots to accommodate the taste buds of their customers.

Arachuvitta Sambar recipe is a tambrahm (Tamil Brahmins) speciality where they do not add onions and garlic. Furthermore, they always grind the roasted spices along with coconut freshly and then proceed with the making. Because ‘Arachuvitta’ means ‘Fresh’, hence the name.

Whatever style or method you follow, all the variations are equally tasty and unique in its own way.


A List Of Vegetables That You Can Add To The Sambar Recipe

Truly speaking, I cannot imagine my sambar dal preparation without vegetables. Personally, I always opt for certain combination of vegetables that I really love. OMG! I can’t get over the flavors of those vegetables when they combine with the lentils and sambhar powder.

The combination of vegetables I go for is, drumsticks (moringa), yellow pumpkin, radish and brinjal. And, I particularly make sure never ever to skip radish and drumsticks.

The good news is that, you can make sambar either with any one of the vegetable you like or a mix of two or three or more. So, sometimes I do cook drumstick or radish sambar and it tastes real good, it gives me instant joy and I can lick off the plate. 😀

Here’s what you can opt to go for alone or in combo. Drumsticks, eggplant, yellow pumpkin, white pumpkin (ash gourd), radish, carrots, beans, okras, raw plantain, yellow cucumber, potatoes, ivy gourd, snake gourd, bottle gourd or whatever other vegetables you like. You can also use little amount of bitter gourd as well, but only if you like.

Remember that the taste of the sambar also depends on the combination of vegetables you use. So, do the selection accordingly. BUT, I would highly recommend do not miss adding radish the recipe.

You can also add green leafy vegetables to the sambar. BUT, do not skip tomatoes and pearl onions (or regular onions). Avoid onions only if you are going ahead with Sattvik sambar preparation.


Sambar Recipe – It is a delicious traditional South Indian lentil (dal) and mix vegetable stew made using special spice powder known as Sambar Masala. Typically served with idlis, vada, dosa, uttapams and goes best with steamed rice.

Cre: Cubes n Juliennes

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